Govt asks Google, Apple to comply with court order prohibiting TikTok download

17 April, 2019, 12:01 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Govt acts against Tik Tok after SC refuses stay on ban

The tech giants were asked to take down TikTok from its app stores by Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology following the refusal of Supreme Court on Monday to put a stay of Madras High Court's order to ban the app.

Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the TikTok platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music.

If Google and Apple go forward with the order and de-list TikTok from their app stores, the download numbers are expected to take a huge plunge.

With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos and these may have inappropriate content.

Tiktok has already been banned in neighbouring Bangladesh and hit with a large fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children. Reuters reported that Google had complied with the order.


The government sent a letter requesting Apple & Google to abide by the state court's order. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that it is keeping the issue open for further adjudication and would consider it on April 22. Google said in a statement it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws. In India, the app has been cited for "encouraging pornography".

Salman Waris, a technology lawyer at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors, said the legal action against Bytedance could set a precedent of Indian courts intervening to regulate content on social media and other digital platforms.

The rise of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now almost impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content.

TikTok also said that to date, "we have removed over 6 million videos that violated our terms of use and community guidelines, following an exhaustive review of contents generated by our users in India".

TikTok argues in the petition before the Supreme Court that if the ban imposed by the High Court is not lifted, it would cause irreparable loss to the petitioner and would give a significant advantage to the petitioner's competitors. This isn't helped by the fact that the app mainly appeals to young people. However, the apex court refused to interfere saying that ban directive was just an interim order and the high court is scheduled to hear the matter on April 16.

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